Release Date:
Release ID: 964

Innovate Holdings acquires UK company Corby Chilled Distribution Limited

Innovate Holdings Limited (“Innovate”), in which Avion Group holds a majority interest via its Eimskip division, has acquired the entire share capital of Corby Chilled Distribution Limited (“Corby”), one of the leading players in the UK temperature-controlled primary food distribution market. The purchase price of £28 million plus the assumption of net short-term debt at closing of approximately £500,000 will be financed from Innovate’s own resources and by loans provided by Glitnir banki hf.

Press Release

This acquisition furthers Eimskip’s strategy to be a leading logistics provider globally, adding to its existing UK coldstore infrastructure a strong road transportation and cross dock hub network with comprehensive coverage of the UK and substantial capacity for growth.

The transportation and distribution expertise of Corby is complimentary to the existing cold-storage and logistics capabilities of Innovate, allowing the combined group to offer a “one-stop” service to customers and increases the Innovate’s capacity across all temperature ranges. Furthermore, there is a strong strategic fit between the geographic networks of the two companies allowing for significant operational synergies.

Corby has a 13-year track record of growth in the temperature-controlled food distribution market from inception in 1993. Corby has long standing relationships with many of the key UK food retailers, manufacturers and growers and is equipped to manage short order lead times whilst maintaining a superior level of service for its customers.

Corby has a strong and experienced management team that has developed with the business and who will be integrated into the Innovate management structure. Iain Stewart, MD of Corby, will become Chief Operating Officer of the enlarged Chilled division of Innovate Logistics.

Audited financials: In the year to 30 April 2006, Corby recorded turnover of £51.1 million (2005: £53.5 million) and EBITDA of £4.2 million (2005: £3.6 million). As at 31 April 2006 it had net assets of £8.6 million, including freehold properties with a book value of £5.8 million and an estimated investment value of £13.1 million.

Commenting on the transaction, Magnus Thorsteinsson, Chairman of Avion Group, said:

“We are delighted that Innovate has acquired Corby and thus welcome it into the Avion Group. The businesses are highly complementary and together will be able to offer our customers an enhanced range of services in temperature-controlled logistics in the UK”.


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